Screen savers are known to many because of entertainment purposes. Most people believe that screen savers are only used to entertain or bring laugh to people when their computers have become idle for a specific amount of time. Screen savers can indeed be used for entertainment purposes but they can also be used for other purposes such as to secure your computer when it is idle. Here are some frequently asked questions regarding the security feature of some screen savers.

screensaver security

What is a screen saver?

A screen saver is a computer program that orders your computer to show a blank screen, an image, a slideshow of images, an animation or a text after a period of user interactivity. Screen savers were initially used to prevent “phosphor burn-in” on computer monitors. Back in the days, computer monitors were based on cathode ray tubes (CRTs). The major problem with this type of screens is that when the same image had been displayed on the screen for long periods of time, the properties of the exposed areas of the phosphor coating on the inside of the screen changes permanently which leads to darkened shadows on the screen. This effect is called “phosphor burn-in” and to prevent this, computer experts have developed screen savers to constantly change the picture showing on the screen.


Today, computer monitors are not based solely on CRTs anymore so screen savers have lost their original purpose. Screen savers nowadays are mainly used for entertainment purposes, advertising as well as security purposes.


How can you use a screen saver for security purposes?

Some screen savers offer a password protection feature that asks the user to input a password before he can unlock the computer once it had been idle for a specific amount of time. With this feature, you can have a peace of mind since other people cannot see the contents of your computer or use it without your permission. This can be extremely helpful especially when you have sensitive information stored in your computer. With this feature, you can secure this sensitive information and hide it from the prying eyes of others.


How long will it take for the screen saver to operate?

This depends on you. Users can change the settings for a screen saver to their preferred settings. You can put any amount of time you want your idle computer to wait before showing your chosen screen saver.


How do I get back to my desktop after a screen saver is activated?

To go back to your computer’s desktop, you simply have to move your mouse or tap any key in the keyboard to bring up the prompt that will ask for your password. Entering the right password will unlock your computer and then, you can see the desktop again.


Will the screen saver turn off any applications running in my computer?

No. Screen savers will only prevent access to your desktop as well as these running applications. It will not stop any application from performing.


Computer users should really use a screen saver for security purposes. It will cost them nothing since screen savers can easily be downloaded from the internet yet it can give amazing security features that can protect their computers from others.